An article in today's LA Times describes a new wrinkle on the Nigerian 419 scam: using photos of cute little puppies to siphon cash from the pockets of the naive. It seems from the article that the scammers favorite "bait" is the English Bulldog, a very expensive breed. English bulldogs usually have small litters and always need C-sections (the puppies huge heads do not fit through the mother's birth canal) and the newborn puppies are very fragile and have high mortality rates. This makes them costly to breed and rather rare, which drives prices up into multi-thousands. For some reason, however, some people want them very badly, despite the fact that they are horribly deformed dogs wirth a tendency to be stubborn, snorty, wheezy, farty, slobbery, and have lots of genetic health issues such as hip problems, heart problems, skin problems and bad respiratory systems. When bulldog-smitten people see a "free" or relatively inexpensive puppy advertised, some of them lose all caution whatsoever. Don't be one of them. Better yet, if you get a notion to buy a bulldog, let me try to talk you out of it.
In other news, I had a fun 3-day weekend of agility competition. I'll blather on at length about it later.